KS3/4 Science - Stem Cell Research: The Issue | SchoolsWorld

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KS3/4 Science - Stem Cell Research: The Issue

Description

Stephen Cuff is only 39, but he suffers from Parkinson's Disease and it has turned his life upside down. He can no longer look after his two children and basic day-to-day activities like shaving, takes him a long time. Conventional drugs have not been successful for Stephen, leaving him no option but to undergo brain surgery.

Stephen's operation is successful, but it doesn't cure him. One potential future cure is embryonic stem (ES) cell therapy. This is being pioneered by the likes of Professor Ian Wilmut, who became famous when he cloned Dolly the sheep.

Professor Wilmut introduces us to the concept of stem cells and the science behind them, whilst presenting his opinion of the technology.

Alison Davies, the chair of No Less Human, is a wheelchair user who would refuse ES cell therapy if it were available. She offers a different ethical perspective as to why the use of ES cells should not be permitted.

We also hear the differing opinions of leading cell biologists at a recent stem cell conference.

Part of the series: School Matters

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